A Latino Perspective: The Reasons Why Donald J. Trump Does Not Deserve Our Vote
Prior to the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald J. Trump was perceived as a successful businessman, and someone to aspire to. The television show “The Apprentice”, best-selling books, and the many Trump branded properties only cemented his mystique of wealth, intelligence, and business knowledge. Politicians, musicians, actors, models, athletes, and more were regular company for Donald J. Trump, who lived in the city that never sleeps, New York. During the Obama Presidency, Donald J. Trump gave serious thought to running for President. He was highly critical of President Barack Obama, and his insistence Obama was not born in the United States fueled his eventual rise. Donald J. Trump found his audience in the welcoming Fox News, and they promoted him far more than any other candidate seeking the Republican Nomination. The day he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump made his intentions clear, he was not a friend of the Latino/a community.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. Donald J. Trump June 16, 2015
The very first press conference of then Presidential Candidate Trump, he attacked Mexican immigrants, and also vowed to end DACA. DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, established by Executive Order by President Barack Obama in 2012, provided deportation protection, and the ability to legally work for some undocumented immigrants. During the first week of the Trump Presidency in an interview with ABC, Donald J. Trump said Dreamers should not be worried, and that he has a big heart. That same day, a draft of an Executive Order ending DACA was leaked. In September of 2017, Donald J. Trump made his first attempt of ending DACA, but was denied three times by the courts. Frustrated, he appealed to the conservative leaning Supreme Court to remove the legal protections of almost 700,000. The Supreme Court upheld DACA on June 18, 2020, and Donald J. Trump said he would again attempt to repeal DACA. After the Supreme Court decision, the Trump Administration closed DACA to first time applicants, and limited deportation protections. Lawsuits have been filed challenging the changes to DACA, and those enrolled in DACA continue living in fear. A compromise to save DACA was presented to Donald J. Trump in January 2018 by a bipartisan group of Senators but he rejected it. He asked the senators why the United States would want all these people from shithole countries?
The United States was created, established, and made great by immigrants. Large cities and small towns throughout the country are diverse, vibrant, and filled with culture. The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of hope, but now a reminder of what we used to be. Engraved on the Statue of Liberty, the famed poem asks for the poor, tired, and homeless seeking freedom they have a home in the United States. “Build the wall” is a common chant at a Trump rally, and Donald J. Trump wants Latinos/Latinas out. His first week as President, Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order granting immigration officers increased authority to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. The result was a 30% increase in arrests from the year prior in 2016. The two hardest hit states were Florida, and Texas in 2017. ICE has been directed to target all undocumented immigrants, regardless if they pose a threat to public safety. The percentage of those being arrested without a criminal record continues to rise, and was 36.5% in December 2018. One the first day of school in Mississippi for the fall 2019 semester at least 680 undocumented immigrants were detained at 7 meat processing plants in a targeted workplace raid. Friends and neighbors stepped up to help devastated children who were suddenly without their guardian. The same day Donald J. Trump said raids are a very good deterrent for undocumented immigrants. Heartless, uncaring, and a general hostility against those of Latin descent has been trademark of Trump Administration. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution, granting citizenship to those born and naturalized in the United States, has been called ridiculous by Donald J. Trump, and is something he would like to end. Asylum seekers from Central America are being stripped of their humanitarian protections, and are being deported. The Trump Administration is succeeding in strategically decreasing the Latino population.
The prosecution and exploitation of undocumented immigrants by the Trump Administration is in direct violation of the United States Constitution. Under the 8th Amendment cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited, but separating families and losing children is okay? When the news broke of children in cages living in unsanitary conditions crying for their parents it drew international outrage. Even babies and toddlers were forcefully removed from their parents. The United Nations condemned the United States Zero Tolerance policy. In June 2018 a judge ordered the Trump Administration to stop separating families, but they continued. After some parents were released, they had to pay thousands of dollars to be reunited with their children. Thankfully a judge ordered the Trump Administration to cover the cost of reuniting families. Not every child has been reunited because some parents have been deported. The Los Angeles Times reported in January 2020 that the official government’s count of children separated is 4,368, although it is believed to be higher. Between October 2014 to July 2018, The New York Times reported there was over 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse of immigrant children. Women inside a Georgia immigration detention center were taken away their biological right to be a mother. On September 14, 2020 nurse Dawn Wooten revealed the Irvin County Detention Center Detention Center was performing mass hysterectomies.
September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was hit by Category 4 Storm Hurricane Maria, and the island has yet to recover. For 8 hours Puerto Rico was ravaged by winds of up to 155 mph, and merciless destruction. Thousands of homes were destroyed, electricity lost on the entire island, and countless lives lost. When hurricanes devastated Texas and Florida, Donald J. Trump visited within 4 days, he visited Puerto Rico in 13 days. When he arrived, he kept downplaying the severity of damage, and even playfully threw paper towels at a crowd. The initial death toll was 64, but was later revised to 2,975 almost a year later. The increased fatalities upset Donald J. Trump, insisting the revised death count was a lie to make him look bad. He insisted he had done a great job helping Puerto Rico, but the Federal Government’s response was limited, slow, and harshly left Americans abandoned in their time of need. Donald J. Trump considered selling Puerto Rico because he felt rebuilding the island was not worth it. Damages are estimated to be over 100 billion, and almost 27,000 homeowners applied for the R3 program, Repair, Rebuild, or Relocate. The eligibility requirements are strict, and the process have been painfully slow with thousands of homes with damaged roofs still using a tarp. It took three years for the Federal Government to commit to rebuilding the electrical and educational infrastructure. When Donald J. Trump was asked why the aid took so long, he blamed the Democrats. Puerto Rico has been disrespected, insulted, and it is infuriating when he claims he is the best thing to ever happen to la Isla del Encanto. The Island of Enchantment is in recession, and declared bankruptcy in 2016. Donald J. Trump does not believe Puerto Rico is worthy of rebuilding, and that’s why he wanted to trade the island for Greenland. He called Puerto Ricans dirty and poor. Donald J. Trump has no shame, and in a recent rally in Florida said Puerto Rico better vote for him. Residents in the Island can’t vote for President, but every Puerto Rican in the United States can.
The Presidency of Donald J. Trump has been harsh reminder that elections have consequences. Latinos have been relentless targets of Donald J. Trump, and there is no reason to believe that will change. The current Covid-19 epidemic has been poorly managed in the United States, and Latino community has been hit hard. As of September 19, hospitalizations were over 4 times higher for Latinos than whites, and death rates were over 50% higher said Dr. Anthony Fauci. The ongoing Covid-19 crisis, families denied a stimulus check, increased prosecution of immigrants, cruel and unethical treatment of immigrants in detention, separating families, losing children, failure on Puerto Rico, and there is an avalanche more of reasons why Donald J. Trump is a threat to the Latino community. Every eligible Latino/a voter has the power to limit Donald J. Trump to a one term presidency, and elect politicians that will respect our community. Not every Latino/a can vote in the United States, so those eligible voters owe it to members of their family that can’t vote to vote for a better tomorrow.
Si Se Puede!
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© 2020 Angel Guzman